An affordable combination of Italian chic and modern city-car versatility makes the desirable Fiat 500 an undisputed winner in its class.
The Fiat 500’s bright stylish interior has eye-catching appeal and it’s immediately apparent there’s plenty of room up front. The back seats are also a comfortable option for two average-sized adults, and the boot – which is larger than the Mini – will accommodate a light shopping load or an overnight bag. The 500’s excellent suspension gives a smooth ride without any significant road or wind noise, and the car handles neglected road surfaces well.
The cute charm of the retro-minimalist dashboard is enhanced by a smooth painted backdrop which matches the exterior paintwork. The classic panel layout is ultra-functional with all cockpit controls intuitive and easily accessible.
Fun to drive
Naturally at home in any urban environment, the Fiat 500 is everything a city driver could wish for. Its light steering and diminutive dimensions make for easy driving, smooth manoeuvring and effortless parking. The car grips the road well, corners with confidence, and the panoramic visibility is pleasant and reassuring in heavy traffic. A manual gearbox is standard, though petrol versions include an automatic option.
Typical running costs
Cheaper to buy than most of its main rivals, the Fiat 500 offers a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, and comes with a low insurance group, cheap company car tax, and all the benefits associated with running a small city car. Fiat figures show that the diesel 1.3, and 0.9-litre petrol turbo versions can each return an average fuel consumption in excess of 70mpg – with the diesel in particular easily managing a very respectable mid-to-upper 50s overall fuel economy for combined urban and motorway driving.
Besides its low running costs, the high-desirability of the Fiat 500 means this car will retain a good market value when the time comes to upgrade.
Safety is an especially important feature in smaller cars and it is reassuring to report the 500 has plenty of airbags, has achieved a top rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests, and comes with the option of a stability control system.
The ‘Pop’ is the bargain-basement version which is equipped with remote locking and an on-board CD player. The S and Lounge models are up-market options with hands-free Bluetooth phone systems, USB connectivity for linking smartphones to the stereo, and a set of alloy wheels. Sun-seekers will appreciate the drop-top 500C convertible which features a smart fully retracting fabric roof. Other Fiat options include metallic paint versions, chrome trims, a range of alternative alloy wheel designs, plus stylish exterior logos and graphics.
The retro-inspired Fiat 500 is easy to live with, offering a dinky design which is fashionable and appealing, nimble handling and affordable running costs, making it an amazing aspirational city car with a great custom range of colours, accessories and trim options.